Travel to Mexico during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go



Editor’s Note — Coronavirus cases remain high across the globe. Health officials caution that travel increases your chances of getting and spreading the virus. Staying home is the best way to stem transmission. Below is information on what to know if you still plan to travel, last updated on January 14.

(CNN) — If you’re planning to travel to Mexico, here’s what you’ll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The basics

What’s on offer

Incredible food, sensational beaches, buzzing towns and historical remains. While the beach resorts around Cancun attract the bulk of visitors, those who want more than a fly and flop go for Mexico City’s cultural heft, the coastline of Baja California and traditional towns such as Oaxaca.

Who can go

Mexico has some of the loosest border restrictions, currently, with anyone allowed to travel by air for business or leisure.

What are the restrictions?

Travelers into the country must complete a health declaration form and scan the QR code it generates on arrival. There is no need to take a test before departure or undertake any form of quarantine. Those concerned that they may have symptoms should ask for the Sanidad Internacional health organization.
The land border with the United States remains shut to all but essential travel until February 21, while the southern border with Guatemala has also been subject to periodic closures.

What’s the Covid situation?

Mexico had reported more than 1.5 million cases of Covid-19 and more than 136,000 deaths as of January 14 (although some believe the figure is higher). President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has come under fire for taking a laissez-faire approach to the virus. Restrictions have not been far reaching and life has gone on as normal for many, which critics say has led to such high death and infection rates.

What can visitors expect?

Mexico has a four-tier traffic light system of restrictions, with red signifying maximum restrictions, orange limiting capacity in public spaces and at work down to 30%, yellow allowing for all work to resume and public gatherings to take place, and green meaning there are no restrictions in place. See a color-coded map here.

As of January 14, most states were categorized as orange, or high alert. Cancun’s state, Quintana Roo, was yellow.

Mexico City has taken more stringent measures, shutting all bars for two weeks in November in a bid to crush a growing wave of infections. Visitors are likely to find the situation different depending on where in the country they travel, with local restrictions varying.

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Joe Minihane and Julia Buckley contributed to this report



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